MY LIFE IN DECADES

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IMG_0185.jpgfor the past few weeks I have been mulling over all of the sections that my life seems to have evolved into. The small baby that started out being cared for by parents who loved me and wanted only the best for me has long disappeared. There is no one who even remembers that long ago time. I was the oldest of four children so none of them remember me in that form. Both parents and grandparents have gone on to their own destinys and reside only in my memories. The first decade of my life was mostly about school, church, playing outdoors with neighborhood friends, and reading, reading. During the second decade junior and senior high school were added, boys, piano lessons, choir, baby sitting, and eventually my first jobs. During the third decade marriage, motherhood, four children, gardening, PTA, were added to the already full mix. By the fourth decade I was overwhelmed, but still working, both at home and in the workplace. During this time there were a lot of changes made in my personal life, but life and motherhood and work still went on. By the end of the decade I was living out West and devoting my time to a different lifestyle than I had ever done before. The fifth decade was filled with travel and work and it passed so quickly. Then life took on a different direction in the sixth decade and I had to return to my roots in Michigan. By the end of the sixth decade there was a terrific office job, a farmer in my life, and a residence on a fruit farm. New responsibilities abounded in my days, new interest in writing, a farmer’s market to go to, and best of all more children to become good friends with. The seventh and eighth decades seemed to fly by with more changes for all of us, but still immeshed in my life has been the same interests, family, writing, winters in a warm climate, and reading, reading.
So here we are in the ninth decade. Amazing, isn’t it? Family, old and new friends, music, books, writing, and I can’t leave out my iPad, can I? My spiritual life has never been stronger, my family life is of great comfort, and I am so thankful for all of the years that I have been blessed with.

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WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

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img_0562Decisions! Decisions! Lately it seems like it takes forever in order to make up my mind about what I am going to do about my everyday choices. Some change comes creeping into my life and all of a sudden there it is. I am going to have to make a choice about whether I go off with the old or on with the new. For years I was known for jumping into the new, even tho it didn’t always work out as well as it should. I would look at a situation, think about how to fix it and then I would just go ahead and do it. Usually it worked out pretty well or least I could make do with the results.
But now! It’s like a dog with a bone. Last Monday my watch quit! That is to say that the battery finally died. I think that this is the third or fourth time this has happened with this particular watch. And each time I would head off to Walmart where an obliging clerk would replace it for me. I liked that! So I have had this watch for a few years now. I still like it, it runs well, has a clear and readable face, and will probably last as long as I will. But I had just been to Walmart so I decided to wait for a few days. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at my wrist this week. Just couldn’t get out of the habit. But I just kept thinking that maybe it was time to get a new watch, a better one, or a prettier one, even tho there is absolutely nothing wrong with this one. Bob just said “Get a new one, you can afford it “. I knew that. It is just that maybe it was time for a change, so I decided to wait until today, Saturday, and look at the new ones. But I just kept on thinking about all of the pros and cons, driving myself crazy.
This morning I ended up at the jewelry counter, looked at the large display of watches, and deliberated in my mind. And guess what, I didn’t see any I liked better than my good old standby. “I need to have a new battery put in” I said to the clerk, and five minutes later it had been done. I had survived the debate in my head again and I breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I don’t have to think about that again for a while” I thought. Decisions, decisions, they can be hard on a gal!
And my grandmother used to always say, “Waste not, want not”.

THE INDOMITABLE HUMAN SPIRIT

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IMG_0555. This picture pulled at my heartstrings when I first came upon it. Mountains, mountains! Somewhere in my faraway past there must have always been mountains to inspire me and give me the warm feeling of being in the right place at the right time. It brings back the memories of reading the book, “Heidi” when I first started going to the library each week. And later when there were movies about Heidi and her grandfather in the Swiss Alps I would sit enthralled in the movie theaters. Eventually I watched the beautiful scenes on my IPad and felt the closeness that always comes to me when mountains appear. Knowing that I always feel comforted by the magnificence of the world that we have been placed in I have taken every opportunity that I could to travel to the Shining Mountains. It has always been where I could go to my quiet place and know that we are never really alone. Why this is I truly do not know. It seems to be where I find my inner spirit, my knowing that all is well, there really is a plan for us, no matter how uncertain the future may be. But relaxing, closing my eyes, picturing the mountains as I last saw them, brings forth the feeling of contentment, the knowing that somehow things will work out, no matter what.
Life can be and usually is a challenge for all of us at one time or another. We lose friends or relatives and it is hard for us to know the reasoning why. Children are taken from us before we are ready to let them go, and we don’t want to relinquish our parents. But sometimes we have to, and when that happens we need to have something to hold on to. For me the Shining Mountains have been and continue to be the thoughts that I hold in my mind, that there is a better place for us, there is a plan and I can close my eyes and feel the warmth and the love of it.